"I can help you!"

I NO LONGER WORK AS A BOOK MARKETING COACH; I'M THE PUBLISHER AT IMAJIN BOOKS.

I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Marketing your book "isn't always about sales figures"

Today's special guest is debut novelist Eileen Schuh. Today she's going to share some of what she's learned about marketing books. Take it away, Eileen!

Measuring the effectiveness of promotional efforts

One can’t measure the success of one’s promotional efforts simply by sales—although one wouldn’t want to put a lot of money and effort into publicity activities that don’t net sales, results are often far from direct and take time to appear. 

I started my publicity campaign back before I even had a book to sell.  With the help of Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s book marketing services, I established a strong cyberspace presence with a blog, a website, and Facebook and twitter accounts.  I joined writers’ groups, participated in online discussions and forums, posted book reviews, and researched all aspects and angles of the writing and publishing industry.

Even before that, though, I was campaigning.  I was always actively engaged in multiple facets of family, education, and community life.  I travelled, joined sports teams, engaged in activities with my children and their friends (and the parents of those friends.)  I volunteered. 

Specific to marketing The Traz, in addition to my social networking notices, I sent out press releases about THE TRAZ.  I spent the time to locate the contact information for the media in my home town and my former home towns.

The very next day, the local radio station emailed me for a phone interview.  What a wonderful bit of free advertising that was!

Perhaps a week later, I was asked to read the book written by an infamous serial killer’s defence lawyer and interview the author—not sure how that happened.  Crime fiction is what I write.  True Crime is what I read and this was a great opportunity to get my name associated with important people in the industry—especially when the book proved to be well-written, interesting, and unique. 

I forwarded Smashwords coupons for free copies of THE TRAZ to those I’d met during my community sojourns who also happen to work with at-risk-children (including the commanding officer of the local RCMP detachment.  A little brazen, perhaps, but he’d expressed interest in my career when I’d handed him my business card in regards to a totally different matter.)  

Through my Special Education contact, I found out the local school is instituting a learning e-café and wrangled an invitation to slounge there come September and read passages from my books.  What a wonderful chance to not only promote my book sales but to meet my other goal of directly helping kids-at-risk and the adults in their lives.

My municipal library contacts have assured me of purchases and will advertise a reading and signing event once the paper editions of my books are released.  I’ve been tentatively invited to participate in sci-fi conferences (one in Denver) to promote Schrodinger’s Cat.  These opportunities may seem to have come along for free, but they are in actuality the results of my promotional efforts—personal efforts, paid efforts, and professional efforts.

I’m one to try new things and when I connected on Twitter with Pauline Barclay, an author blogger in the UK http://paulinembarclay.blogspot.com , we decided to swap guest blogs and attempt to tap into each other’s overseas markets—a promotional strategy that will cost us nothing (but time) and has the possibility of rewarding us greatly.

Another thing I did was forward coupons for free copies of THE TRAZ to authors and reviewers well-known in their fields.  These Smashwords coupons don’t cost me anything, so they’re DEFINITELY my kind of promo!  I’ve been astounded at the positive blurbs and reviews that I’m receiving.  Again, having my name and work associated with others who are successful in this career is a bonus.

Promotion is time consuming.  It’s a slow process.  Results are slow to appear.  But the most unexpected and wonderful opportunities can and do at times rapidly appear. 

The radio station’s news director interviewing me?  Me interviewing a serial killer’s lawyer? A guest blog in Europe?  Doing a reading to teens from a lounger in an e-café?

Can life get any better?

p.s. I take my coffee black.

Eileen Schuh
Author of THE TRAZ and SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT

To sample/buy THE TRAZ:

10 comments:

Cheryl Tardif said...

Be bold, brazen and daring. That's how you MAKE things happen.

Cheryl

P.S. Thanks, Eileen, for sharing your efforts and results.

Nancy Naigle said...

Thank you for sharing, Eileen. It's definitely hard to know which things to tackle and what's going to work.

I appreciate your experience. It will surely help me on my journey.

Nancy Naigle
Love stories from the crossroad... of small town and suspense.

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thank you, Nancy.

And Cheryl, everything I learned, I learned from you... (hey, isn't there a song about that?)

Cheryl Tardif said...

Nancy, thanks for dropping by. I wish you the best in your journey.

Eileen, I hope you only learned the good things from me... ;-)

DiDi said...

Thanks for the posts, Eileen and Cheryl. Appreciate the clues on getting past the creative and into the biz.

DiDi Hendley

Alison E. Bruce said...

Great post, Eileen. It really is a journey, isn't it? Promotion is a way of reaching our goal (let's all get rich and famous) but the process has it's own rewards.

Still learning more every day, thanks to people like you and Cheryl.

Alison

Jacqueline Seewald said...

As a writer myself wondering how to promote my own novels effectively, I appreciate your blog.

Best,

Jacqueline Seewald
THE TRUTH SLEUTH--new from Five Star/Gale

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thanks for visiting, DiDi, Alison, and Jacqueline. We are eBook pioneers, explorers, bravely journeying into the unknown...or something like that.

Cheryl, of course I learned your good stuff, like preparing & enjoying a well-made virtual margarita--and transfering that knowledge to a real-life lounger on a Panama beach...and other things like that.

Cheryl Tardif said...

I am so glad, Eileen. I'd hate to think the knowledge I've shared has gone to waste. ;-)

Didi, the business side of being a writer is usually the toughest part for a writer to learn. The key is to find someone who is doing what you want to do and follow them, learn from them. The rest is trial and error, and being brave enough to take a risk...or three.

Alison, it is a wonderful, fulfilling adventure! You are well on your way. Under a Texas Star is an awesome read!

Jacqueline, one of the biggest secrets in promotion is: go where the readers are. :-)

Eileen Schuh: said...

Just a thought, Jacqueline--Also, go where the buyers are. I impress one school teacher and I may sell 40 books for her classroom--which may impress other school teacher! Librarians and book clubs and the Goodreads forums (where I've already got in trouble for shamelessly self-promoting but bought my way out of the scandle with a few well-placed coupons for a free download of THE TRAZ...How can they stay mad at me?